Let me repeat my refrain from yesterday: another day, another speculative transfer rumor. And much like yesterday’s Hakim Ziyech story, this one involves another young(ish) multifaceted attacking talent. Roma, it seems, are dipping into the Sampdoria stockroom once more, reportedly prepping a rather large offer for 24-year-old Belgian midfielder Dennis Praet.
The story, which was passed along by Football Italia, indicates that not only are Roma interested in Praet, but they’ve already lodged a €28 million offer for the versatile and potential-laden midfielder. According to the original source of the rumor, Primo Canale, Praet is also being pursued by Juventus, Inter Milan, Everton and West Ham but seems to prefer Roma.
If this move comes to fruition, it would mark the second straight summer in which Roma laid out substantial amounts of cash for a Sampdoria attacker, following last summer’s €42 million move for Patrik Schick. While it’s too soon to tell if Roma will spread out the Praet payments in the same fashion, let alone close the deal, it would be yet another signal of intent from Roma: they’re not messing around with piddling little deals anymore.
So what exactly would Roma be getting for their €28 million?
Well, for one thing they’d be getting a kid with seemingly limitless stores of energy, as Praet was frequently seen bounding up and down the pitch like a Labrador at your local park, so in that sense he’d be the perfect complement to Roma’s aging midfield.
But beyond his endurance, Praet’s passing would enable Eusebio Di Francesco to comfortably slip into a 4-3-1-2 from his preferred 4-3-3, as Praet has featured largely as a #10 for Sampdoria, where his ability to pick out the final pass truly shines. Praet is equally as strong on the ball and is more than capable of dribbling past any Serie A defender, and while his career didn’t take off as quickly as many imagined when he moved from Anderlecht, his slow and steady burn at Sampdoria has prepared him to take the next step.
Whether or not that next step is in the Eternal City depends on a few factors: namely, can Roma beat Juventus to the punch, or is the Giallorossi’s interest in Praet merely a smokescreen while they clandestinely work on another target?
It’s transfer season after all, and tomorrow Roma will probably have a €30 million deal in place for Luka Doncic—I hear he likes football.